Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads

Mobile concrete equipment are relatively new to Indian construction equipment market. To tap the new segment, equipment manufacturers are offering multiple product line variants. According to manufacturers, the overall advantage offered by mobile concrete equipment is their ability to offer assorted cost effective concrete solutions, Partha Pratim Basistha takes a look.

Tightening work schedules and increasing job volumes have once again facilitated entry of a new equipment segment into the Indian construction sector. This time, it is mobile concrete equipment. The machine claims to offer cost advantage primarily through cutting down on additional deployment of equipment at the job site.

Mobility is the foremost advantage claimed to be offered by the mobile concrete equipment manufacturers. This allows the equipment easy transportation from one job site to another, and catering to multiple project requirements.

Mobile concrete equipment manufacturers explain, mobility feature, is most vital element of the equipment, In tandem, it also provides numerous additional benefits to contractors. This makes deployment of these equipment conducive at various job sites.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
According to Mr. Jayanti Surelia, Chairman & Managing Director, Maxmech Group, "the foremost advantage offered by the mobile concrete equipment is that, it allows the contractors to rationally utilize the space at the job site as the equipment are easily moveable. Equipment mobility is especially required when construction is taking place in crammed city areas, either for building construction or for other projects. Rational job site utilization, led by unhindered movement of labor, machineries and materials can allow the contractor smooth execution of the work. This would in turn facilitate completing the job on schedule."

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads

Maxmech provides range of mobile concrete equipment. This includes, truck mounted mobile concrete batching and mixing plant with a capacity range of 15m3/hr and 20m3/hr, horizontal mobile cement and flyash storage silo with capacities ranging from 40, 60 and 100 tons. As per Mr. Surelia, "MHC 60 horizontal mobile cement plant silo cuts down on setting up of separate cement godown at the construction site, thus saving on space. The machine prevents bare minimal cement wastage due to leak proof design. The silo provides high mobility for site transfer due to skid mounted design." Maxmech also manufactures mobile concrete batching plants with capacity range from 18 to 36 m3 per hour. The equipment have features consisting, control panel equipped with PLC touch screen type HMI. The control can store different mix design with all parts recording upto 50 lac cum.mtr production output. The machine has cement feeding hopper on one rear end of the chassis below to which a screw conveyor is fitted which charges cement into turbo mixer. Maxmech's mobile batching plants come with heavy duty tubular section chassis on which 3 or 4 aggregates silos are bolted. As per Mr. Surelia, Maxmech has recently launched truck mounted mobile cement storage silo. The company offers its service to its customers by providing erection, installation and commissioning support through its service engineers located pan India.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
The mobility element has also the advantage of cutting down expenditure on foundation. This in turn facilitates the contractors offset the additional costs, in terms of labor, machinery and materials requirement for installation of the concrete batching plant at the work site. As per Mr. Ajit Patel, Managing Director, Apollo Infratech Private Limited, "by avoiding foundation, the contractor can save on the additional installation costs and have a ready equipment availability. This is so because the mobile batching plant can be installed and commissioned within a span of one to three days. The mobility element also curtails use of transit mixers as the mobile batching plant can work at the construction job site itself. This consequently cuts down on expensive diesel costs and in turn provides economies of scale to the contractor."

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads

Apollo Infratech manufactures ATP 20, 20 m3/hr concrete output batching plant. The equipment comes with two types of mobility options, tow bar system one fabricated axle and one swivel mechanism for front axle. The equipment can be towed with a JCB backhoe loader, tipper tractor etc. The other mobility option is trailer horse lowing system including king pin reconditioned axle with leaf spring air braking system. ATP 20 has standard supply of components involving, compartment type aggregate storage bins, weighing bin with conveyor, screw conveyor, microprocessor bases control panel etc. As per Mr. Patel, "ATP 20 comes with newly designed pan mixer with side scrappers for better mixing. The scrappers additionally facilitate cleaning of the pan by preventing concreting from piling up in the pan, thus increasing its life."

Apollo which produces mobile horizontal cement and fly ash storage silo with a capacity of upto 50 tons also manufactures AMP 150, portable mobile concrete mixer with pump. The mixer has a drum capacity of 500/350 liters with a mixer output of 15m3 per hour with 32 RPM. Mr.Patel mentions, "the machine is competitive in reducing costs as it is a combination of drum mixer and pump with a single engine providing drive to the pump and the drum." Apollo provides customer support through its pan India dealership network. The Gujarat based company stocks its components with the dealers based on the equipment population.

Portable mobile concrete mixers are also manufactured by Gamzen Plast Private Limited. Gamzen produces mobile mixers with both equipped with reversible electric and diesel motor operated dial gauge. The mixers have drum length varying from 1590 mm to 2370 mm, water tank capacity of 180 litres with rotary speed of mixing drum between 16/20 RPM. The mixers are available with concrete output ranging from 9m3-20m3/hr.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
According to the Mr. Zuber Panchbhai, Director Gamzen, "our mixers have competitive features involving, pressure relief valve and online checking system. The machines have advanced drive systems to make them less prone to maintenance. Notably, our mixers are equipped with mechanical screw jacks for instant commissioning." Mr. Panchbhai informed, Gamzen would be launching 35-45m3 mixers shortly.

Mobility is the standard advantage provided by the mixers. The portability advantage, from the application point of view is another advantage. Based on portability, the mixers can operate in construction sites located in difficult access such as city centres, renovation of residential buildings at housing societies.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Mobility advantage cutting down on foundation is also endorsed by Mr. Nagesh Kudva, Director, Conmat Systems Private Limited. He explains, "Laying foundation for the concrete batching plant is always an additional burden for the contractor on two fronts. First, the installation requires civil work to be done requiring the contractor to bear the cost burden. Secondly, the metals required for foundation entirely goes to waste with the completion of the job when the equipment moves to a different site. However, with mobility of the batching plant the burden for laying foundation can be bypassed."

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Conmat manufactures concrete batching plant with a capacity of 23m3-120m3 per hour. Mr. Kudva informs, "Our batching plants have features including, advanced control automatic PLC control system for inventory management and different report generation. Any nature of errors can be diagnosed by control system. The mixers are equipped with axial face seal labyrinth seal and radial seal. This triple security prevents slurry leakage from the mixer, reducing wastage and increasing bearing life."

Mr. Kudva, defines Conmat mixers as "stationary cum mobile mixers." He informs, "the most notable feature of our concrete batching plant are that they can be promptly erected and dismantled at the construction site at ease. This is so because the plants have all welded frame structure and come fully assembled from factory in three parts. It can be installed at the site with an ordinary yard crane, requiring between 24 to 48 hours for installation."

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Assorted mobile concrete equipment are manufactured by Macons equipment. Macons makes MA-series Mobile batching plants. The MA-series plants have a concrete output capacity ranging from 12m3/hr to 25m3/hr. There are five models in the series, categorized on the output capacity.

As per Macons, the MA-Series plants are designed to suit the remote sites. The plants have a rigid construction of the main chassis making them rugged, pan type mixer for continuous mixing, replaceable liner types and tips in the mixer, fully automatic with electronic weighing of aggregates. The mobile batching plants have inbuilt water and additive tank. As per the company, the MA-Series plants are equipped with accurate controls for consistent quality of concrete and gives output as per the ratings of the plant.

Macons also offers semi-mobile plants. The equipment claim to be compact and provide higher output with better output accuracy. According to Macons, the semi-mobile plants do not require any civil foundations. The complete plant is pre-wired and pre-tested in the factory itself. This enables negligible site erection activities. The unit needs only to be plugged and the plant can start working. The compactness of the plant enables easy handling and movement during transportation.

The Gujarat based company has recently entered into a license agreement with Dumec SRI-Italy for manufacturing of self–loading transit concrete mixers. The self–loading mixers would be available between 1m3-4m3 capacities. The mixers will come with a slewing drum. It would feature a four wheel drive and a four wheel steering, 1800 reversible driving post, electronic weigh batching unit and 35% gradability. Macons provides its customer service support through its network located in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, and Kolkata.

The construction applications of mobile mixers, are essentially for construction of concrete roads, small culverts and canals, renovation work in building and roads, road dividers, windmill foundation work, small drains and other municipal works. Mobility feature of these equipment provides cost benefits. Equipment manufacturers mention, though the initial costs of the batching plant in terms of its deployment is on the higher side at par with its static plant counterpart. However, the transportation and installation costs benefits are lower when the equipment are taken to the second different job sites. This is so because the contractors become familiar with the installation and transportation process of the mobile plants while taking the machine to the next job site gained by the experience from the first site in course of its installation and transportation.

Truck Mounted Plants: A Newer Trend

While mobile concrete batching plants and portable mixers have heralded a new trend in concrete mixing, it is truck mounted mobile concrete and batching plants that is set to become a notable trend setter in the segment of mobile concrete equipment.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads

Truck mounted mobile concrete batching plant is a much newer concept that is looking to make its inroads in Indian construction market. Introduced in the country by Gujarat based concrete equipment manufacturer, Maxmech, mobile truck mounted mobile concrete and batching plants seems to have a good marketing potential. This is while taking into account when the contractor has to cater to multiple concreting jobs at quicker intervals.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
According to Mr. Navin Advani, Managing Director, Electromag Devices Private Limited, exclusive distributor of US manufactured International Mobile Mixer, truck mounted concrete mixing plants in India "Truck mounted mobile concrete and batching plants have a good potential in Indian road and building construction sector. A marvel of IMM's volumetric weighing technology, the International Mobile Mixer marketed by us is matchless and outperforms all other in this segment on productivity, fuel efficiency, operator comfort and an immaculate job performance output. High productivity and precision is the hallmark of International Mobile Mixer."

Mr. Advani informs, "The International Mobile Mixer drives power and efficiency from the hydraulic pump. This hydraulic pump can be driven from main chassis engine or D.G set. This mechanism provides excellent attractive efforts with good fuel efficiency and meets most stringent norms.

The mixer can effectively blend, mix and produce right quality of concrete as and when needed at the construction site itself according to required design mix whether it is M10, M20, M30."

As per the working principal of the International Mobile Mixers goes, aggregate, cement, sand, fly ash and other additives are taken out from different hopper mounted on an automotive chassis are taken out through various calibrated gate valves and mixed in an "Auger Style Mixer." Calibration could be done at the site depending upon available material. For various grades of concrete suggested mix is also available on a ticker.

Mr. Advani says, "The International mobile Mixer is a very versatile machine of its kind. It can deliver up to 45 CUM/Hr or can be used as transit mixer having capacity of 8 CUM. To have a reliable mixer which can effectively blend, mix and produce right quality of concrete as and when needed at the construction site itself."

The advantage of the International Mobile Mixers he adds, "In traditional way of concreting, transporting of concrete is dependable on time and distance factor. However, in International Mobile Mixer since every ingredient has its own storage location the machine is independent of these two important factors. So characteristics of the concrete remain unchanged in International Mobile Mixer."

Given its features International Mobile Mixers claims to use various types of aggregates, sand and fly ash available economically at the construction site. The machine claims to provide nil wastage of concrete at site and can deliver desired concrete strength.

From the operation perspective, according to Mr. Advani, "The machines have low maintenance cost due to less moving parts, low initial investment due to less number of machineries. Additionally, the machine is low in operational cost due to less number of people required. The mixers make use of available space at the construction site. Furthermore, it requires minimum clean up and wash out compared to traditional batching." International Mobile Mixers are available in 5 CUM, 6 CUM and 8 CUM models as per carrying capacity goes. However, all the models can deliver up to 45 CUM per hr.

The International brands of Mobile Mixers are exclusively distributed and serviced in India Electromag has six sales and service offices across the country involving, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune.

Truck mounted mixers are required for construction work as similar to the ones catered by the mobile concrete batching plants.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Operational efficiency at various levels to deliver higher output and also save on operation and maintenance costs is the foremost initiative, manufacturers of truck mounted mobile concrete mixers seem to drive in an increasing way in their machines. According to Mr. Arun Savanur, Vice President & Business Head, Construction Equipment Division, Greaves Cotton Limited, "To save on operation and maintenance cots for the contractors, we have introduced an advanced mechanical concept of 'power take off’(PTO) in our mixers. Through PTO, the slave engine to drive the mixer would be subtracted from the truck chassis. This would in turn make the mixers less prone to maintenance as oil and filter change would require to be done above 250 hours."

However, Mr. Savanur informs, "The PTO mechanism is only available with MAN and Volvo chassis with 300 horse power for the Greaves transit mixers. This makes the PTO mixers comparatively more expensive than the Indian chassis." He mentions, that "the reason to opt for Volvo or MAN chassis is because, Indian, Tata or Leyland chassis have the available horse power ranging between 150 hp-180 hp making them inadequate in terms of driving force for the PTO mechanism.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Greaves is in dialogue with Indian chassis manufacturers to increase the engine capacity of their chassis, so as to increasingly facilitate the introduction of PTO concept in the Indian, Tata, Leyland and AMW chassis. Greaves has transit mixers from 4m3/hr-9m3/hr. The company provides its service support to its customers through undertaking both preventative and breakdown maintenance.

Advancements in transit mixers have been introduced by Schwing Stetter India Private Limited. During Excon'09 Schwing Stetter launched transit mixers with concrete pump driven by PTO. The capacity of the mixers are in the range of 6m3/hour, 8m3/hour, 9m3/hour and 10m3/hour. The 6m3/hour, 8m3/hour, and 10m3/hour mixers are driven by MAN chassis while 9m3/hour mixer is driven by Volvo chassis. The 6m3/hour mixer is positioned for small size construction projects having an execution time frame between 2-3 days. The pump of the equipment works on rock valve technology.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
According to V.G. Sakthikumar Chief Operating Officer, Schwing Stetter India Pvt. Ltd, "The equipment are an integrated unit in itself.
Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
This is the biggest competitive advantage offered by the transit mixer. Being an integrated unit it carries the pump along with itself thereby cutting down the logistics cost for the contractor to transport the pump. Besides, being compact, the equipment saves on space at the jobsite." The mixer cum pump have been used by Jaypee for its ongoing hydel power projects.

Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
Innovative concreting equipment is also claimed to have been introduced by Con Mech Auto Consultants Pvt Limited. Con Mech has entered into a marketing collaboration with Gujarat based, Surelia Engineering Works for distributing its mobile concrete placers pan India.
Mobile ConcreteEquipment Make Inroads
According to Mr. Ram Babu Cheruve, Managing Director, CMAC, "The mobile concrete placers are ideal for construction job sites having mass concreting requirements, involving canals, culverts, irrigation projects etc.

As per the functioning of the equipment goes, a conveyor is attached to the self moving chassis belonging to the placer. The chassis is driven by a diesel engine. The concrete placers are available in three models having an output of 25m3/hr and 50m3/ hour. CMAC also distributes Esquire manufactured portable mobile mixers.

Imperatives

While mobile concrete batching plants and truck mounted mobile concrete plants provide host of benefits, there are certain vitals that needs to be taken into account by the contractor in order to have enhanced equipment availability. Foremost among these would be to have the access path to the job site be made smooth and clear and obstruction free. This will enable easier movement of the mobile equipments to and from the plant to the other job site. To facilitate inter and intra movement of the mobile machines at the construction site, space availability at the job site would required to be evaluated by the contractor. The contractor would require taking into account other equipments working at the site. However, most significantly, prior deployment of the equipment at the job site, a proper evaluation of the concrete requirement would required to be done by the contractor to make the optimum use of the machine. This has to be essentially backed by studying the job size by the contractor. Significant would be to have trained manpower to undertake preventive maintenance of the equipments.
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